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California AG Wants Circuit to Reconsider Rejecting Ban on Private Prisons

Plus: Haitian migrants make it to Florida on a broken boat, and a 5-year-old is reunited with family after a smuggler abandoned her

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California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that ended the state’s ban on for-profit private prisons and immigration jails. Last month’s ruling kept in place a main piece of the world’s largest detention system for immigrants. “They treat people like commodities, they pose an unacceptable risk to the health and welfare of Californians, they prioritize profits over rehabilitation — making us all less safe,” Bonta said. Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that the use of private immigration jails “does not reflect the values of our state and disproportionately impacts minority and low-income communities.” The Associated Press 

In other national immigration news…

63 Haitian Migrants to Sail to Florida Keys in Broken Sailboat

About 63 Haitian migrants arrived in the Upper Florida Keys this week by sailing in a broken-down sailboat. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Division Chief Adam Hoofner, migrants told authorities they “spent over three weeks out at sea.” This would be the first time in over two years that a large group of Haitians made it past U.S. Coast Guard, which usually patrol the Florida Straits and stop Haitian migrants from entering the U.S. Instead of being removed under Title 42, the Haitian migrants are being placed in removal proceedings, allowing them to do “credible fear” interviews and seek asylum. Miami Herald 

5-Year-Old Migrant Reunited with Mother by Border Patrol

U.S. Border Patrol agents said they rescued a 5-year-old Venezuelan girl who was left alone on an island in the Rio Grande by human traffickers. The agents found the girl and nine other migrants on the island. The young girl was soon reunited with her mother in Eagle Pass, Texas. According to agents, the mother notified them that her daughter was left behind during a smuggling operation. “Human smugglers are cold and calculated, often separating families for their own convenience or to gain compliance,” Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley said in a statement. “Thankfully our agents acted quickly and were able to locate the young girl and reunite her with her mother without incident.” Border Report 

Texas Democrats Push for Immigration Benefits

Two Texas Democrats highlighted how immigration benefits in the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act should reward essential workers without immigration status, as they majorly contribute to the U.S. economy. According to some estimates, the most recent version of the bill includes $100 million to speed up processing of immigration benefits and supplies to protect roughly 7 million immigrants from deportation. U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar said securing these benefits for immigrants is just the beginning. “It buys Congress more time so we can fulfill our obligation and ensure we give them the path to citizenship they deserve,” she said. KXAN 

St. Paul Immigrant Students Fight to Save Small High School from Closure

When Kwe Knyaw arrived in the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand in 2015, he enrolled in St. Paul, Minnesota’s LEAP High School. Some of his classmates were also new immigrants, and they realized they had a lot in common despite being from different countries. The small school with small classrooms made these students feel welcome. But Knyaw, his fellow graduates, current students and teachers say the district has completely missed the values a small school can provide to new immigrant students as it considers closing the school. LEAP is seeing low enrollment because of a lower birth rate and competition from charter schools, which target immigrant students. Sahan Journal

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